Season for politically motivated violence officially begins

Mugabe Youth Militia

ZANU PF youths attacked mourners with stones destroying property in the process

Charles Mabhena

It has now officially began, the political parties in Zimbabwe have now gone on an overdrive hitting the campaign trail with the main opposition party MDC-T have recently launched their door to door campaigns; and so has been the issue of politically induced violence.

While the season of political violence could have been stamped during the Norton by-election which was won by independent candidate Temba Mliswa,  it is going into higher gears as the 2018 polls draw nearer.

Ugly scenes of violence were witnessed at a funeral in Mbare over the weekend, a move that many traditionalists believe to be moral bad as it denigrates the spirit of the departed.

The violence occurred this past Saturday, at Gogo Chikita’s funeral who was mother to a MDC-T supporter following a donation of goodies to the bereaved family by MDC-T MP Gift Chimanikire.

Residents say this did not go down well with the ZANU PF youths who then attacked the mourners with stones destroying property in the process. They claim that the matter was reported to the police, but the authorities showed no interest in getting to the bottom of the matter, as perpetrators were not arrested.

Commenting on the issue, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) says it condemns acts of violence in all its terms, and called on the police to be apolitical in handling issues of political motivated violence.

“The ZPP is concerned that police indifference and soft approach to deal with known perpetrators of violence will only breed a culture of impunity and embolden the perpetrators as the 2018 elections draw closer.

“Responsible authorities must ensure that those implicated in political violence are dealt with in accordance with the law,” says ZPP in a statement.

On the same day it is also reported that ZANU PF youths also attacked MDC-T supporters who were engaged in door to door voter mobilisation exercise in Highfields, the party launched the door to door exercise recently as it prepares for the 2018 elections.

These two cases come high on the heels of identical attacks, in February this year members of Transform Zimbabwe were assaulted by ZANU PF youths in Chitungwiza where they were carrying out a clean-up campaign. The matter is yet to be finalised in the courts, after the Chitungwiza Courts said it wants a document from a government doctor indicating the victims’ injuries, a move that analysts believe to be a way to delay delivery of justice. They query as to why is the court wanting a report from only a government doctor instead of any practicing doctor, they believe the government doctor will sway the results in favour of the state.